Heres some thoughts from a trip to The Philippines in April.
The van went only as far up the winding road as it could, then there was a little dirt bike brigade waiting for us. Many of them with wood racks on the side. We had noticed several coming down using these racks hauling timber. There were 19 of us and about 6 or 7 dirt bikes and a few extra village people + some bags of rice. If you do the math, that doesn’t seem feasible, but this is the Philippines.
We got onto a bike. Pastor Bert and a large sack of rice on the side of one. A young girl whom I recognized from being at the youth event (she was so happy to know we were going to their village the next day) and Pastor Bernie on the opposite side. I was on the back of the motorbike.
The road/trail was bumpy, winding and the views amazing as we wound our way up the mountain and into what seemed to be more of a jungle area. The youth girl leaned on me for balance, then she clung unto my hand and smiled big at me as her long hair covered her face and blew in the wind. I noticed the drivers feet were on the ground in several areas to keep us in balance on the rocky ground.
At the end was a valley, a little homes and lush green areas surrounded by mountains. The small street led us to a gate. There was a wood two story home next to a church.
Inside we met “The blind guitar player”, an old friend of Randy and Brain. Randy gave him his guitar and he played some songs while a young woman sang along.
We were invited into the kitchen, a pot boiled on an open fire. The smoke from the fire went out the cracks in the wood, as the sun shone rays across the kitchen.
I picked up a small mug with a heart shape on it and sat down. My cup was filled with water and instant coffee added someone had saved creamers stored from a previous meal in town. I fully enjoyed my coffee with a roll that had been bought from the bakery in town. It was just instant coffee and but it was delicious.
As I was soaking in the beautiful moment I was startled back to reality. Apparently too many people were in this little kitchen and the floor gave out from Brian and Randy causing everyone to jump. This home was very old, and the wood was in much need of replacing, they began discussing how to brace it from underneath.
This was a special day and memory for me. Perhaps because it reminded me of my grandma Doris’ kitchen when I was young, the same pleasant feeling. And the small woman at the stove, she is the blind mans wife. I felt so blessed to get to visit there, to be invited into her little kitchen; the others went out and I remained. Seated, watching as she poured a few more cups, stepping up on a little platform to reach the stove.
It was one of the best tasting cup of coffee I have ever had, maybe because it was made with a whole lot of love for a stranger.
Everyone gathered in the church to worship, Brinna and I had little lesson with the kids in the home, then joined the others for the service. Many in the village joining us and we had lunch with them after before balancing our way back down the winding path.